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Wriddhiman Saha is back for Bengal

Source: PTI
Last updated on: June 11, 2024 19:22 IST
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IMAGE: Wriddhiman Saha, who will turn 40 later this year, has agreed to return to his home state after a 'friendly discussion' with former India captain Sourav Ganguly. Photograph: BCCI

Making a comeback to his home state Bengal two years after a public fallout, veteran Wriddhiman Saha on Tuesday sounded a touch emotional and said he 'never looked at the past and focused on what lies in the present'.


Saha, who will turn 40 later this year, has agreed to return to his home state after a 'friendly discussion' with former India captain Sourav Ganguly. He also claimed that his wife Romi played a role in his return to Bengal.

For starters, Saha will be the marquee player for the Rashmi Medinipur Wizards in the Bengal Pro T20 league, which began at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Tuesday.

"I have not yet met the CAB officials, but went to the dressing room during practice and the colours of the chairs have changed. It looks different," Saha said emotionally during his first media interaction after returning to Bengal from Tripura.

"I never looked at the past; I always lived in the present. I have started my journey from here. Now that I am back, I will try my best to get an opportunity in the Bengal side.

"But at the moment, the focus is on the Bengal Pro T20 and helping the team reach the knockouts. I have always given more than my 100 per cent wherever I played."

Saha said he was never 'cut off from Bengal' while he was playing for Tripura.

"I have always wished the best for Bengal; that's what I said when I left. For me, everything belongs to Bengal -- the start, the growth, everything happened here. It's not that I am cut off from Bengal just because I've signed up with Tripura. I went there to play Ranji Trophy. After playing, I would come back here and speak to the friends."

"Whenever I played in Tripura, I always kept track of Bengal's scores and how they were performing. I used to talk with the players too. Bengal has been doing well. The most important thing is, if I get a chance in the Bengal team, I will help them continue their consistency," he added.

In early 2022, Saha was dropped for the home Test series against Sri Lanka which led an otherwise quiet Bengal wicketkeeper to spill the beans.

Saha revealed that Ganguly, the then BCCI president, had assured him of his place in the Indian Test team after his half-century against New Zealand, but the team management later informed him he would not be considered for selection and coach Rahul Dravid had even suggested him to 'retire'.

Citing personal reasons, Saha then pulled out of the 2021-22 Ranji season for Bengal following which the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) joint-secretary Debabrata Das questioned his commitment, claiming the player was making 'all sorts of excuses'.

Saha sought an apology from the official but did not get any and the tension only deepened with the player leaving Bengal to join Tripura, having obtained the NOC.

Despite repeated requests from the Avishek Dalmiya-led CAB for him to return, Saha never budged.

"I discussed about this with Sourav, with my wife Romi and it's because of them I am back here," Saha replied when asked what made him change his mind.

Asked what he would have to say to the CAB official Das, Saha said, "I will be as usual with him."

Would he captain Bengal in the upcoming season? "I have not thought too far ahead, as I said I live in the present. First I have to do well to get selected."

Meanwhile, Saha has not followed much of India's progress in the ongoing T20 World Cup but hailed Rishabh Pant's comeback.

"It's one of the greatest sporting comebacks. He's doing well, all the best to him."

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